Impulsivity and Problem Gambling: Can the Anticipated Emotional Rewards Explain the Relationship?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Impulsivity is one of the individual level dispositional characteristics that have shown a robust association with problem gambling. However, the way in which impulsivity shapes gambling behaviour is less well understood. The current study examined the explanatory role of gambling outcome expectancies of escape and excitement to further explore the relationship between impulsivity and problem gambling. A total of 491 community members completed an online questionnaire that assessed impulsivity, the anticipated emotional benefits of gambling (escape and excitement outcome expectancies), gambling frequency and problem gambling. Although escape and excitement outcome expectancies partially accounted for the relationship between impulsivity and problem gambling scores, escape moderated the relationship. Specifically, impulsivity was not related to problem gambling when less favourable views of escape outcome expectancies were held. Conversely, the relationship between impulsivity and problem gambling strengthened when escape outcome expectancies were more favourable. The findings indicate the escape outcome expectancies play a significant role in determining the degree to which impulsivity influences problematic gambling. The results suggest engendering more unfavourable beliefs towards using gambling as a form of escapism or a way to cope with negative affect may be helpful, especially for gamblers with heightened levels of impulsivity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-581
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
Volume18
Early online date4 Jun 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

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